Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Week #1 Restoration: Nell's Sweet Surprise!!!!!

So, for those who need an update....we bought an old home....we call her Big Nell, sold our current home and have begun the renovation project to bring her back to life! Our timeline is about 4 weeks until the closing date and need to be moving in Big Nell. We have created a timeline for the projects that need to be completed before we are able to move in. During our first week, we needed to tackle the downstairs bathroom demo, kitchen demo, get the old, painted-shut windows open, formulate an electrical plan, and tackle our bee problem. We are almost there. We have gutted the bathroom, except for the cast iron tub, and have begun the plumbing. It WILL be coming out!! We have demo`d the kitchen, but have some cabinet flooring to remove and plumbing to begin. Electrical plan is in place and we will be marking new outlet locations this evening. Windows are open, which did require taking pieces of the window facings off. I will never understand why people paint windows shut. They are a booger to get open, that's for sure!!! We had a drywall man come and give us an estimate on patching our cracked plaster walls. We went round and round, trying to decide if we wanted to keep the plaster walls or replace them with more, convenient drywall. Plaster keeps the character of our historic home. Plaster is much more durable, and a family of our size (5, soon-to-be 6, soon-to-be 8 kids) needs durability. I fully believe if left to their own devices, they could bring the entire structure down! But, plaster cracks easily, especially when driving any kind of nail into it...hanging decor is a must for this female! In the end, we decided to keep it, patch it and see where that would take us. We have other options if need be! We did send off samples of the flooring in the kitchen and the plaster coated on the hidden, brick chimney/fireplace in our family room. Those two places gave us the most concern about containing asbestos. We are not interested in developing Mesothelioma in our latter days, so we took samples and sent them off for testing. We just received the results last night.....NO ASBESTOS FOUND!!!! So, plaster will be removed from the chimney and we can officially remove the linoleum and tile from the kitchen floor!!! Those items are on the to-do list for tonight and tomorrow. And, yesterday we tackled our bee problem. When we initially went to look at Big Nell, pre-offer, pre-contract, we were notified that there was a honey bee hive in the right, exterior wall of our home, that led into one of the closets in the "boys" room. We wanted to ethically exterminate our problem.....meaning, we wanted to save the bees, which are really good for the environment and produce lots of yummy, luscious honey. Little did we know that we have a beekeeper in our church!! We asked and he (and his son) willingly came to investigate and hopefully coax our bees away without having to use toxic chemicals that would kill them and possibly be hazardous to our family. 

 Our the rescue!!!

 Removing most of the bees and transferring them for transport.

 Beginning to remove the floor boards from a closet in the "boys" room.
 Continuing to remove boards....notice all of the honey that has coated the floor boards!!!
 Uncovering a massive, 3+ foot bee hive full of honey in between our floor joists!!!
 Extremely thick honeycombs covered every inch between the floor boards.
Honeycombs were stuck to the bottom of the floor boards.
 The bee keepers kept parts of the hive for the bees to build off of at a new location!
None of us were prepared for the sweet surprise that was in store!!!!!!  We still have a sticky situation to clean up! But, after the bees were removed and the mortar filled into the exterior of our home, we have taken care of the root of the problem. Thankful for good friends and close contacts who are willing to help us in our time of need!! Stay tuned for what is bound to be more uncoverings than we even know! Step by step we are getting there! I bet Big Nell feels so much better after being rid of those critters!

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